Duck Race News

Distribution Night

It will soon be time to adopt a duck from a favorite organization to support the 2020 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race. Sixty-seven organizations have been invited to pick up packets of Duck Race adoption forms Thursday, Feb. 27 and receive instructions on sales. These clubs and nonprofits have been chosen as participating organizations for the 2020 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival.

Distribution Night begins at 6 p.m. at The Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South St. Vrain Ave. The Duck Race Festival Committee encourages each of the 67 organizations to send a representative to the meeting.

Did you miss distribution? Download the Distribution Power Point here.

“The excitement is building for the 2020 event, and our race committee is ready to support sales, both online and in-person. We want to help our organizations increase their adoption sales so they can see great results,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Committee member in charge of organizations.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 28, groups will begin distributing paper adoption forms and encouraging their members and friends to adopt ducks. The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website and Facebook page will launch online sales February 28 in tandem with paper sales.

The annual Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, with the Estes Park Running Club’s Duck Waddle 5K, a family fun run and race. Duck Race Festival participating organizations will welcome duck fans to George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza at 10 a.m., where they will offer interactive activities and sell duck adoptions until noon. Live music there, as well as at Nicky’s Steakhouse, will add a toe-tapping fun to the festival activities scheduled in the morning hours until the official duck drop at 1 p.m. at Nicky’s. Thousands of little yellow ducks will enter the Fall River and float about 2 miles to Riverside Plaza downtown. There, they will be fished out of the river by wader-clad volunteers and cheered by the finish line crowd. Each adopted duck is assigned a unique number, and hundreds of prizes will be awarded.

This year’s race will feature major cash prizes. In addition, major sponsor Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Inc. will provide three travel prizes that include stays and activities at their properties around the country, including The Pine Lodge at Glacier National Park, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park, and Old Faithful Cabin at Yellowstone National Park. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel.

For every duck adopted with a paper form for $20, the charity chosen on the adoption form will receive $19. The other $1 is retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset operational costs of the next year’s Duck Race Festival. Adoptions may also be charged to a credit card online at with a nominal processing fee.

“The primary purpose of the Rotary Duck Race Festival is to set the stage for people in our community to have an opportunity to support the participating organizations who provide vital services to those who live in the Estes Valley,” said 2020 ‘Big Duck’ Karen Thompson. “These 67 participating organizations help achieve their missions by selling duck adoptions, and they receive a considerable benefit back to their group that is commensurate to their efforts. The rules of the Duck Race are simple: Adopt a duck. Maybe win an awesome prize! Help a cause that you care about.”
The 2019 race brought the total funds raised in the 30-year history of the event to $2.7 million. Social media will spread the word internationally. To help this effort, the Duck Race Festival has a Facebook presence to propel adoptions at